A time-line of the Italians

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(Copyright © 1999-2022 Piero Scaruffi)

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See the timeline of Venezia

568: Alboin's Lombards invade northern Italy
588: Byzantium regains Genova/Genoa
697: the republic of Venezia/Venice is founded by refugees fleeing the Lombars and who appoint a common leader, the "Doge"
739: Pope Gregory III asks Charles Martel for help against the Lombards in Italy
750: Venezia establishes trade relations with Constantinople and Egypt
751: the Lombards under king Aistulf conquer Ravenna from the Byzantines
756: Pepin III defeats the Lombards and conquers Ravenna but leaves the conquered territories to the Pope, thereby founding the Papal State and establishing a temporal power for the Pope
800: Venezia's main trade is the slave trade (mainly Slavs)
812: a peace treaty between Charlemagne and the Eastern Roman Empire surrenders Venezia to the Eastern empire but grants Venezia the right to trade with the Holy Roman Empire
814: the Palazzo Ducale is begun in Venezia
827: an Arab tribe, the Saracens, invades Sicily
840: the Frankish king Louis dies and civil war erupts among his three sons who have inherited most of France and northern Italy (Lothar, the new emperor), Aquitaine (Pepin), eastern Bavaria (Louis II), western Bavaria (Charles II le Chauve)
843: at the Treaty of Verdun the Holy Roman Empire is divided among Charles II le Chauve (western France), Lothar (Netherlands, eastern France and northern Italy, renamed Lotharingia/Lorraine) and Louis/Ludwig II (western Germany)
843: Genoa proclaims its independence from the Frankish empire
846: Muslims raid Rome
855: Lothar dies and his kingdom is split between his sons (Lotharingia to Lothar II and Burgundy to Charles) while Louis II becomes emperor and inherits northern Italy
875: Louis II dies and Charles II le Chauve invades Italy and becomes emperor
878: the Arabs capture Sicily and make Palermo their capital
888: Charles III is deposed by the nobles and the Frankish Empire is divided between East (Germany and northern Italy), ruled by Arnulf, and West (France), ruled by Odo Capet
888: north Italy declares its independence under Berengar I
889: Venezia becomes independent
922: Magyars raid Italy
951: Otto I invades northern Italy and declares himself king of Italy, thus uniting the crowns of Germany and Italy
962: Otto I invades Italy and is crowned emperor by the Pope in Rome
991: Venezia signs a commercial treaty with the Arabs
1000: Venezia (under Pietro Orseolo II) invades Dalmatia
1000: 7 million people live in France, 7 million in Iberia, 5 million in Italy, 4 million in Germany, 2 million in Britain
1002: Venezia defeats the Arabs and expands in the Adriatic Sea
1037: German emperor Konrad II signs a feudal edict that grants legal rights to the Lombards
1049: the Norman warlord Robert Guiscard conquers Puglia from Byzantium
1052: Firenze/Florence under countess Matilda concentrates government in the hands of the great guilds
1061: Genova and Pisa attack the Muslims in Sardegna/Sardinia and Corsica
1072: the Normans conquer Sicily, Calabria and Napoli, and establish a kingdom over southern Italy (the last Byzantine territories in Italy are lost)
1085: Heinrich IV invades Italy and drives Pope Gregory VII out of Rome, and the Pope dies in exile
1087: Pisa and Genoa destroy the Islamic city of Mahdia in North Africa
1088: Irnerius founds a school of law at Bologna, the first university in Europe
1091: the Normans defeat the Arabs and extend the Kingdom of Sicily over most of Italy
1094: San Marco cathedral of Venezia
1130: Norman duke Ruggero II is proclaimed king of Sicily
1138: Firenze declares itself an independent commune
1153: Bologna proclaims its independence form the Holy Roman Empire
1157: Venezia establishes the world's first bank
1158: The Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick I "Barbarossa", claims control over Italy at the Diet of Roncaglia
1162: Friedrich I "Barbarossa" raids Rome and Milan
1167: Venezia, Verona, Padua, Vicenza, Cremona, Mantova, Piacenza, Bergamo, Brescia, Milan, Genoa, Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia, Parma, Ferrara and other cities of northern Italy form the Lombard League, supported by Pope Alexander III against Holy Roman emperor Friedrich "Barbarossa"
1173: work begins at the Tower of Pisa
1174: Padova becomes a free commune
1176: the Italian communes defeat Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa of Germany at the battle of Legnano
1179: works begins at the Naviglio Grande of Milan, which will be completed in 1257
1182: the cathedral of Monreale is inaugurated
1183: the peace of Constance grants northern Italy autonomy within Barbarossa's Holy Roman Empire
1194: the German emperor Heinrich VI conquers southern Italy and Sicily from the Normans
1200: Venezia has 80 thousand people
1204: The Crusaders, led by the Doge of Venezia, sack Constantinople and set up a Latin kingdom, while Venezia acquires territories in the Mediterranean and Black Seas
1208: Ferrara appoints a count of Este as its leader
1211: Venezia occupies Crete
1237: Holy Roman emperor Friedrich II defeats the Lombard League at Cortenuova
1239: Holy Roman emperor Friedrich II captures Ferrara, Ravenna and part of the Papal States and marches towards Roma, splitting Italian loyalties between Ghibellines (cities that support the empetor) and the Guelphs (that support the Pope)
1248: The Lombard League defeats Frederick II's imperial army at the Battle of Parma fought over the Ghibelline city of Parma
1249: The Ghibelline army, sent to defend Modena and led by Frederick II's son Enzio, is defeated at the Battle of Fossalta by the Guelph army, led by Bologna, and Frederick II's son Enzio is captured
1252: Firenze introduces the gold fiorino/florin coin
1254: Friedrich II's illegitimate son Manfred seizes southern Italy
1255: Venezia and Genoa go to war
1260: Firenze, a Guelph republic, is defeated by Siena, a Ghibelline republic, at the Battle of Montaperti
1264: Charles of Anjou, brother of Louis IX, defeats Manfred and is crowned king of Sicily, thus ending German rule, causing the decline of the German empire and asserting French primacy over Europe
1266: the Polo brothers travel from Venezia to China
1266: Genoa purchases Caffa on the Black Sea from the Mongols
1272: the cathedral of Pisa is inaugurated
1273: Costantinople grants Pera to Genova
1277: a Visconti first rules Milan
1277: Genoa opens a direct sea link with the Flanders
1281: Alessandro della Spina and Salvino degli Armati invent spectacles in Firenze
1282: Sicily rebels against Charles of Anjou ("War of the Sicilian Vespers") and accepts Pedro of Aragon as king, while Charles remains king of Naples
1284: Salvino D'Armate invents the eye glasses
1284: Venezia introduces the gold coin "ducato'
1284: Genova defeats Pisa at the Battle of Meloria
1291: Benedetto Zaccaria of Genova destroys the Moroccan fleet at Gibraltar, thus opening the route from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic coast
1295: Federico III of Aragon becomes king of Sicily
1297: Arnolfo di Cambio designs the cathedral of Firenze
1297: A regular maritime connection is established between Genova in Italy and Bruges in the Flanders
1298: the fleet of Venezia is destroyed by Genova
1298: while in a Genovese jail, Marco Polo writes the story of his travels in Asia
1300: Venezia has 160 thousand people
1301: Charles I of Valois, brother of king Philippe IV of France, backed by the Pope, raids Firenze
1302: The new government of Firenze condemns Dante Alighieri to exile
1312: the archbishop Otto Visconti establishes the Visconti family at the head of the city of Milan
1315: Venice establishes a register of the nobility, the "Libro d'Oro"
1325: Bologna is defeated by Modena and asks for the protection of the Pope
1327: German emperor Ludwig IV invades Italy and appoints pope John XXII
1328: Luigi Gonzaga becomes dictator of Mantova
1335: Milan erects the world's first public clock
1337: Federico III of Sicily dies
1338: Padova accepts Venezia's domination
1339: Simone Boccanegra leads a revolution in Genova
1343: count Amadeo di Savoia expands Savoia by annexing Geneve, Lausanne and Torino/Turin (which becomes the new capital)
1345: Ponte Vecchio is built in Firenze
1347: The plague ("Black Death") spreads in Italy
1350: the Tower of Pisa is inaugurated
1369: Lucca declares its independence
1375: Perugia declares its independence
1378: Genova attacks Venezia
1379: Venezia uses the cannon to defeat Genova
1381: The peace of Torino between Venezia and Genova de facto turns the Mediterranean trade into a Venetian monopoly
1386: work at the Duomo begins in Milano
1386: The Mongols lose China and start a chain reaction along the overland route that used to connect Italy to China
1393: The Este rule over Ferrara, Modena, Reggio, Parma
1395: Gian Galeazzo Visconti is appointed duke by the emperor and expands the state of Milan towards central Italy
1404: Venezia annexes Padova
1406: Firenze annexes Pisa
1413: the Rialto Bridge in built in Venezia
1414: Joanna II of Anjou becomes queen of Napoli
1416: Amadeus VIII obtains the duchy of Savoy from emperor Sigismund
1423: Venezia opens a "lazaretto" for infected people and establishes the "quarantine" (sick visitors have to wait 40 days)
TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
1434: banker Cosimo de' Medici seizes power in Firenze
1435: Joanna II of Anjou dies and Alfonso V of Aragon fights the Anjou over the succession to the throne
1442: Sicily is won by Alfonso V of Aragonia and unified with Naples
1447: the warlord Francesco Sforza seizes power in Milan from the Visconti family
1454: Venezia has expanded on the mainland, annexing Padova, Vicenza, Verona, etc
1454: the Ottomans grant Venezia the right to trade in Ottoman lands, the only western power allowed to do so
1458: Fernando II inherits Napoli and Sicily from Alfonso V of Aragonia
1463: Venezia at war with the Ottomans
1464: the first printing press in Italy opens in the monastery of Subiaco
1468: Fernando II becomes king of Sicily
1469: Lorenzo Medici succeeds his father Cosimo
1471: a printing press opens in Firenze
1472: The Monte dei Paschi bank is founded in Siena
1477: German king Maximilian I inherits parts of Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland
1479: Venezia loses most of her territories along the Aegean Sea to the Ottomans
1479: Fernando II becomes king of Aragon
1492: the Italian explorer Cristoforo Columbo lands in America on behalf of Spain, thinking he has reached Asia
1492: Lorenzo Medici dies
1494: Charles VIII of France invades Firenze, Rome, Napoli, but a league of Milan, Venezia, German emperor Maximilian, pope Alexander VI and Fernando II of Aragonia, led by Francesco Gonzaga, forces him to retreat
1494: Fernando II of Napoli and Sicily dies
1494: Firenze overthrows the Medici family and Savonarola seizes the power in the newly formed republic (beginning of the "wars of Italy")
1494: Lodovico Sforza seizes power in Milano
1497: the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci sails to America on behalf of Spain
1497: Leonardo da Vinci paints "The Last Supper"
1497: The fanatical monk Savonarola sends his followers door to door in Firenze to burn all non-religious art, books and musical instruments (the "Bonfire of the Vanities")
1498: Savonarola is burned at the stake in Firenze
1499: French king Louis XII invades Italy and captures Milan
1500: Pisa builds ditches around walls to make it harder for enemies to attack
1500: Cesare Borgia leads the Papal army to reconquer the old Papal states, and fight the Orsini and Colonna families
1500: Youstol Dispage dies
1501: the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci sails to Brazil on behalf of Portugal and realizes that he is exploring a new continent
1501: Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of the Pope, marries Alfonso I d'Este
1501: France invades southern Italy
1503: Napoli and Sicily are reconquered by Fernando of Aragonia
1504: Michelangelo's "David" is the first colossal statue made since antiquity
1505: Alfonso I d'Este becomes duke of Ferrara
1508: the League of Cambrai (Pope, Spain, France and the Emperor) defeats Venezia
1511: Peope Julius II assembles a "holy league" with Venezia, Spain, England and Germany to expel France from Italy
1512: At the Congress of Mantova the Medici family is restored in power in Firenze, the Pope regains the Papal states, Milano is returned to the Sforzas, and France is all but expelled from Italy
1513: Niccolo` Machiavelli publishes "Il Principe", a treaty on politics
1513: Giovanni de' Medici is elected pope Leo X
1515: Francois I becomes king of France, invades Italy and reconquers Milano
1516: Fernando II of Aragon dies and is succeeded by his grandson Carlos I
1516: The Pope bans Lucretius' book on nature
1516: Italy is divided into two spheres of influence, French in the north and Spanish in the south ("Peace of Noyon")
1517: Venezia imports coffee from the Middle East
1519: German emperor Maximilian dies and is succeeded by Karl V/Carlos I
1521: Karl V of Germany (Carlos I of Spain) reconquers Milano from Francois I of France
1522: the plague reduces the population of Roma to 55,000
1524: the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano sails up the coast of north America and discovers New York
1525: Karl V/Carlos I defeats the invading French army led by Francois I in person at the battle of Pavia
1526: king Francis I of France is defeated by the German army at the battle of Pavia and has to surrender Milan (now a duchy) to Karl V, who is emperor and king of Spain and thus rules over most of Italy (end of the "wars of Italy")
1527: Karl V's army of Protestant mercenaries and Catholic regulars raid, loot and burn Rome
1528: Andrea Doria seizes power in Genova and switches alliance from France to Spain
1529: the peace of Cambrai assigns Burgundy to France and Italy to Karl V/Carlos I
1530: the Medici family is overthrown and Firenze becomes an archduchy of the German empire (only Venezia and Roma remain independent states)
1530: Carlos I of Spain grants the island of Malta (part of the kingdom of Sicily) to the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem
1534: Perugia is taken by the Popes
1534: Alfonso I d'Este dies
1535: Milano's occupation by Spain begins
1556: Karl V abdicates to retire to a Spanish monastery and the empire is divided between his son Felipe II (Spain, southern Italy and the Low Countries) and his brother Ferdinand I (Germany), who assumes the title of emperor
1570: the Ottomans conquer Cyprus from Venezia
1571: in the battle of Lepanto an army formed by the Pope, Spain, Venezia and Genova destroys the Ottoman navy, thus halting Ottoman expansion in the Mediterranean
1575: The plague kills 46 thousand Venetians
1582: the gregorian calendar is adopted in Spain, Italy and Portugal
1582: Gasparo Scaruffi proposes a European currency
1598: the Pope annexes Ferrara and ends the Este's rule over Ferrara
1600: Jacopo Peri's "Euridice" is the first opera
1603: The Accademia dei Lincei is founded in Roma/Rome
1610: the Italian scientist Galileo uses a telescope to explore the Moon, the Milky Way and Jupiter
1630: the plague spreads in Italy and Venezia loses a third of its population
1632: Galileo publishes his "Dialogue" in which he defends Copernicus
1637: the Teatro Tron opens in Venezia, the first opera house in the world
1644: the Italian physicist Evangelista Torricelli invents the barometer
1669: Venezia loses Crete
1693: Arcangelo Corelli composes the first concerto
1698: Giovanni Gemelli-Careri completes his 6-year journey around the world, the first paying tourist to circumnavigate the globe
1700: The population of Italy is about 14 millions
1706: Austria captures Milano from Spain
1709: Bartolomeo Cristofori invents the piano
1713: Britain and France sign a peace treaty ("Treaty of Utrecht") that hands Spanish territories (Milan, southern Italy) to Austria and Sicily to the Savoy duke Vittorio Amedeo II of Piedmont
1713: Austria annexes most of Lombardy (including Milan) while Savoy gets the rest
1718: Spain invades southern Italy
1720: and the Quadruple Alliance (Britain, France, Austria and Savoy) defeats Spain
1720: the Savoy duke trades Sicily for Sardinia with Austria
1734: Carlos, son of Spain's king Felipe V, a Bourbon, conquers Napoli and Sicily from Austria and founds the independent Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
1736: the last Medici dies, and Tuscany is inherited by Austria's Franz I Hasburg
1772: Venezia/Venice frees the Jews
1778: Milan inaugurates its opera theater, the Scala
1796: Napoleon conquers northern Italy, end of Milano's occupation by Austria, end of Genova's independence
1797: Napoleon conquers Venezia, ending its millenary independence, and trades it with Austria for Lombardy
1800: Napoleon annexes Piedmont, Tuscany and the Papal state to France
1800: the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta invents the battery
1800: The population of Italy is about 18 millions
1810: Jews are emancipated in Roma
Jun 1815: The Congress of Wien (Vienna), attended by Austria's Klemens von Metternich, Russia's Alexander I, Prussia's Hardenberg and Britain's Castlereagh, restores continental Europe as it was before Napoleon with small border changes: Russia obtains Poland and Finland; Prussia obtains half of Saxony, Swedish Pomerania and the Rhineland, becoming the biggest German state and extending its border to France; a German Confederation is created under Austria (reducing the number of the Holy Roman Empire states from 360 to 38) but without Prussia; Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg are united; Austria obtains Lombardy (Milano) and Venezia/Venice and control over Tuscany (Firenze/ Florence), with only Piedmont being independent in the north; southern Italy remains under Spain, Central Italy remains split into small states plus the Papal State
1820: The Camorra (a mafia organization) is founded in Napoli/Naples
1831: Giuseppe Mazzini founds the secret revolutionary society Giovine Italia in France
1833: Piemonte executes several members of Giovine Italia for plotting to overthrow the king of Piemonte/Savoy, but one of them, Giuseppe Garibaldi, escapes to France and then to South America
1834: Mazzini founds Giovine Europa
1837: Mazzini, expelled from France, moves to London
Jan 1848: A Sicilian revolution against the Spanish occupation fails
Mar 1848: Mazzini leads an insurrection in Milano and the Piemonte/Savoy begins an independence war against Austria
Jul 1848: Garibaldi joins the revolution in Milano
1849: Antonio Meucci invents the telephone
1849: Defeated by Austria, king Carlo Alberto of Piemonte resigns and is succeeded by his son Vittorio Emanuele II
1853: A Giovine Italia insurrection in Milano is crushed by Austria
1859: Napoleon III of France and Vittorio Emanuele II defeat Austria and Piedmont annexes Lombardy, Tuscany and most of the States of the Church
1861: Garibaldi invades southern Italy, defeats the Bourbons and delivers it to Piedmont's king Vittorio Emanuele II, who becomes king of Italy with capital in Torino, ruling over the entire peninsula except for the Papal state of Rome and for the Austrian territory around Venezia, a country in which 75% of people are illiterate
1862: the first mass killing by the Mafia is carried out in Sicily
1866: Italy allies with Prussia in the "Seven Weeks' War", defeats Austria and annexes Venezia
1869: The Rubattino Shipping Company acquires the port of Assab in Eritrea
1870: Italy conquers Rome from the Pope and declares Rome its capital, while the Pope retreats to the Vatican
1872: Pirelli is founded
1882: Italy enters the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria
1885: an international conference at Berlin awards Congo to the king of Belgium, Mozambique and Angola to Portugal, Namibia and Tanzania to Germany, Somalia to Italy, most of western Africa to France, and Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana to Britain
1890: On average 280 thousand Italians leave Italy every year
1890: Italy establishes the colony of Eritrea
1895: Venezia organizes the first Biennale
1896: Ethiopia defeats the invading Italian army at Adua
1896: Guglielmo Marconi files a patent for wireless cable
1897: A recession causes socialist protests in the north
1899: Fiat builds the first Italian car
1900: King Umberto I is assassinated by an anarchist and is succeeded by Vittorio Emanuele III
1900: The population of Italy is 32.4 million
1901: Guglielmo Marconi conducts the first transatlantic radio transmission
1904: The Catholic Church allows Catholics to vote in national elections
1904: The Socialists organize the first nation-wide strike
1905: Desiderio Pavoni founds a company to make expresso machines
1906: Maria Montessori opens her first "Casa dei Bambini" in Roma
1907: Arnoldo Mondadori founds a publishing house
1909: Filippo Tommaso Marinetti publishes the manifesto of Futurism
1911: the first bomb ever dropped from an airplane is dropped by Italy over Libya in the war against the Ottoman Empire, during which half the population of Libya is either killed or exiled by 1918
Oct 1911: Italy attacks the Ottoman province of Libya
1911: The first trial against the Camorra is held
1912: Italy grants voting rights to almost every male citizen except that 38% of the electorate is illiterate
Oct 1912: Italy takes Libya (the world's first aerial bombing) and the Dodecanese islands from the Ottoman Empire
1913: 873 thousand Italians emigrate abroad
See the timeline for World War I
1914: World War I breaks out in the Balkans, pitting Britain, France, Russia, Serbia, against Austria, Germany and Turkey
May 1915: Italy declares war on Austria
1916: Zanussi is founded
Mar 1918: The "Spanish" influenza, originating from Kansas, is exported to France by US soldiers
Nov 1918: World War I ends with the defeat of Germany (which has to cede several regions to France and Poland, and all the African colonies) and Austria (which has to cede regions to Italy)
1919: Alfonso Bialetti founds his factory
1919: The poet Gabriele D'Annunzio leads a failed expedition to take the city of Fiume
1919: Benito Mussolini founds the "Fasci di Combattimento"
Dec 1920: The "Spanish" flu pandemic ends, having infected about 500 million people worldwide and killed about 50 million
Jan 1921: The Italian Communist Party by former socialists like Amadeo Bordiga and Antonio Gramsci
1921: Guccio Gucci opens a boutique of fashion design in Firenze/Florence
Jul 1922: The Socialists organize a general strike
Oct 1922: Mussolini, leader of the Fascist party, seizes power in Italy
1923: Italian fashion shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo moves to Hollywood
Apr 1924: Mussolini's Fascist Party wins national elections in Italy
Jun 1924: Italian socialist Giacomo Matteotti is assassinated by Mussolini's fascists after accusing them of electoral fraud
1927: There are 4 million Italians in the USA, 1.5 million in Argentina and 1.5 million in Brazil
1928: Umberto Nobile's dirigible flies over the North Pole
1929: Mussolini signs a Concordat with the Pope that creates the independent state of the Vatican
1930: most immigrants to the USA are Italians
1930: Britain, Japan, France, Italy and the USA sign the London Naval Treaty, an agreement to reduce naval warfare
1931: After 20 years of fighting Italy conquers the whole of Libya
1932: The first Festival del Film in Venezia
1933: Bialetti introduces the Moka Express, invented by Luigi De Ponti
Jun 1934: Mussolini and Hitler meet for the first time
Oct 1935: Italy invades Ethiopia
1936: Fiat introduces the 500 ("Topolino"), designed by Dante Giocosa (mechanics) and Rudolfo Schaffer (body)
Sep 1936: Mussolini and Hitler speak to one million people in Munich
Nov 1936: Mussolini announces the Italian-German "axis"
Feb 1937: Italian general Rodolfo Graziani massacres thousands of Ethiopians in Addis Ababa
1938: The world's first major film festival is held in Venezia
1939: Mussolini and Hitler sign the "pact of steel"
See the timeline for World War II
Apr 1939: Italy invades Albania
1940: Italy enters World War II on the side of Hitler
Sep 1940: Italy, Germany and Japan sign the "Tripartite Pact"
Nov 1940: Hungary, Slovakia and Romania join the "Tripartite Pact" with Italy, Germany and Japan
1943: Britain and USA invade Sicily and Italy surrenders
1945: Mussolini is captured by Italian partisans and executed
1946: the first motoscooter, Piaggio's Vespa, designed by Corradino D'Ascanio, debuts in Italy
1946: Giovanni Gaggia invents an espresso machine
1946: Enzo Ferrari founds a company to build Grand Prix cars
1948: the Christian Democrats win the first elections in Italy
1949: Fausto Coppi is the first cyclist to win both the Tour and the Giro in the same year
1950: Olivetti introduces the Lettera 22, a portable typewriter designed by Marcello Nizzoli
1951: Juan Manuel Fangio, driving an Alfa Romeo, wins his first Formula One championship
1951: The first Festival di Sanremo
1952: Ferrari wins its first Formula One championship
1953: Italy's economy starts growing at a rapid pace (the "Miracolo Economico")
1954: neo-fascist Pino Rauti founds "Ordine Nuovo"
1955: The publishing house Feltrinelli is founded
1955: Fiat introduces the 600, designed by Dante Giacosa, the first compact car
1957: Italy, Germany, France and others found the European Community
1957: Fiat introduces the 500
1957: Enrico Mattei coins the expression "Seven Sisters" referring to the seven major Anglosaxon oil companies (the four owners of Aramco, Gulf, Shell, BP)
1960: the football program "Tutto il Calcio Minuto per Minuto" debuts on national radio
1963: Lamborghini is founded
1963: The Vajont dam collapses killing 1,900 people
1963: Camorra's boss Raffaele Cutolo is jailed in Napoli, but creates a new Camorra organization from jail
1965: the Duomo of Milan is completed after six centuries of work
1965: European computer manufacturer Olivetti introduces the first affordable programmable electronic desktop computer, the P101
1965: Piergiorgio Perotto at Olivetti invents the first desktop computer ("Programma 101")
1968: Student riots in France escalate into a national uprising, soon followed by similar protests in Germany and Italy
1969: a bomb by fascist terrorists (Franco Freda's "Ordine Nuovo") kills 17 people in Milano, while three more bombs blow up in Roma and Milano, but the investigators accuse anarchist Pietro Valpreda of the crime
1969: Adriano Sofri and others found the left-wing group of "Lotta Continua", Antonio Negri and others found "Potere Operaio"
1971: Lamborghini introduces the "Countach"
1972: the Brigate Rosse (Red Brigades) carry out their first kidnapping and their first bank robbery
1974: fascist terrorists blow up a train killing 12 people
1974: Giorgio Armani opens a boutique of fashion design in Milano
1976: entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi launches a private tv station
TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
1978: the Red Brigades terrorize Italy
1978: Gianni Versace opens a boutique of fashion design in Milano
1980: an Italian passenger airplane is downed in mysterious circumstances in the Gulf of Ustica
1980: The first mosque is built in Italy
1980: fascist terrorists kills 85 people at the Bologna train station
1980: Silvio Berlusconi founds Italy's first private national network, Canale 5
1982: Roberto Calvi, a Vatican-linked financier, is found hanged under a bridge in London
1983: The police arrest 1,000 Camorristas while power shifts from Cutolo to Carmine Alfieri
1984: Ferrari introduces the "Testarossa"
1984: Eight Camorristas are killed in the Torre Annunziata massacre among rival gangs
Apr 1984: Umberto Bossi founds the separatist and xenophobic party Lega Lombarda for the independence of Lombardia
1986: A referendum shuts down Italy's nucler power plants, turning Italy into the world's biggest importer of electricity
1986: Reinhold Messner becomes the first climber to have climbed all the mountains over 8,000 meter high
1986: A "maxi-trial" sends scores of Mafia ("Cosa Nostra") members to jail
1987: Italians vote against nuclear power
Feb 1991: Several northern Italian parties federate in the separatist Lega Nord
1992: Two leading anti-mafia prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, are killed in Sicily
1992: Camorra's boss Carmine Alfieri is arrested
Feb 1992: Italian magistrates (Antonio Di Pietro, Gherardo Colombo, Piercamillo Davigo) begin arresting politicians for "Tangentopoli" (Bribesville), corruption scandals multiply and "Mani Pulite" ("clean hands") investigations spread throughout the political system
Jun 1992: Giulio Andreotti resigns after 3 years, de facto ending the era of the Christian Democrats
1993: the head of the Mafia, Salvatore Riina, is captured in Italy and the Mafia declines
Jan 1994: Investigations by magistrates reveal widespread corruption in the Christian Democratic party, which dissolves
1993: Industrialist Carlo De Benedetti is arrested for bribing officials
Apr 1993: The banker Carlo Azeglio Ciampi is appointed prime minister
Mar 1994: Italy's richest man, Silvio Berlusconi, who is under investigation for bribes, wins parliamentary elections in which the old governing parties are missing, and becomes Italy's prime minister
May 1994: Italy's former prime minister Bettino Craxi, an emblem of political corruption, flees to Tunisia
Nov 1994: The Socialist Party dissolves after
1994: Camorra's bosses Carmine Alfieri and Pasquale Galasso cooperate with the authorities and reveal that politicians (including at least one former minister) helped the Camorra
Dec 1994: Persecuted by the political system that he investigated, DiPietro resigns
May 1996: The economist Romano Prodi is appointed prime minister
Nov 1996: Former prime minister Bettino Craxi is sentenced to jail, the peak of "Mani Pulite"
Feb 1998: 20 people are killed by a US military jet that accidentally hits an aerial tramway in northern Italy
Oct 1998: The leftist Massimo D'Alema becomes prime minister
1999: a common currency, the euro, is introduced in some European countries (one euro is worth $1.1591)
2003: a heatwave kills 15,000 people in France, at least 6,000 in Spain, 7,000 in Germany, 2,000 in Britain and 20,000 in Italy
2003: Toto Riina, the boss of all Mafia bosses, is arrested
2004: Parmalat, which accounts for almost 1% of Italy's GDP, collapses due to mismanagement
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2005: after more than ten trials, nobody is convicted of the 1969 terrorist attacks
2005: Italy enters a recession
2005: More than 100 killings over two years in Napoli are blamed on the Camorra
2005: Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is acquitted of past frauds, thanks to laws that he himself introduced after he became prime minister
2006: An Italian minister is forced to resign after provoking Muslims riots
2006: Silvio Berlusconi loses national elections to Romano Prodi who becomes prime minister again
2006: Bernardo Provenzano, head of the mafia, is arrested in Sicily after a man hunt lasted 43 years
2006: Italy wins its fourth world cup
2007: Spain's per-capita income passes Italy's
Sep 2007: A comedian, Beppe Grillo, organizes a day of anti-government protests, the "V Day"
May 2008: Berlusconi wins elections and becomes prime minister again for three years
2008: Italy's enters the fourth recession in seven years and its deepest since 1992
2008: African immigrants riot after six of them are killed by Camorra hitmen
2009: Fiat buys Chrysler
2009: Gianroberto Casaleggio and Beppe Grillo found the Five Star Movement or M5S, a party that champions digital democracy among its members and makes decisions based on online votes
2009: The average Fiat worker in Italy assembles 30 cars per year compared with 100 in the Polish factories while making three times more per year
Jan 2010: African immigrants riot in the southern Italian town of Rosarno against the local mafia
Jul 2010: The police arrest more than 300 people affiliated with the 'Ndrangheta criminal organization in multiple regions (Calabria, Liguria, Lombardia, Piemonte)
Dec 2010: Government debt reaches 1.75 trillion euros ($2.3 trillion), Europe's biggest
Jan 2011: Silvio Berlusconi is accused of sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of power
Aug 2011: World stock markets crash for fear of the national debt of Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Ireland
2010: Italy's prime minister Berlusconi faces four criminal trials on charges of bribery, tax dodging, embezzlement and patronising an underage woman for sex
2010: Germany's unit labor cost in the 2000s has declined by 3% while the unit labor cost in France, Greece, and Spain went up by over 20% and in Italy by over 40%
Nov 2011: Berlusconi resigns and Italy's parliament appoints the economist Mario Monti as prime minister of a non-political government to rescue Italy from a financial crisis but he won't last two years
2011: Italy's youth unemployment hits 31% while its national debt is 123% of GDP
Apr 2012: More than 20 entrepreneurs commit suicide in the first four months of 2012 after their businesses fail
Feb 2012: The party of comedian Beppe Grillo, Five Star Movement, wins the most votes
Dec 2012: Giorgia Meloni founds the neofascist political party Fratelli d'Italia (Brothers of Italy)
Apr 2013: The leftist Enrico Letta becomes prime minister leading a grand coalition of centre-left and centre-right parties
Oct 2013: A boat sinks off the coast of Lampedusa killing 368 immigrants from Africa
2013: Silvio Berlusconi is sentenced first to four years in jail for tax fraud and then to seven years for having sex with an underage girl
2013: Italy's economy has shrunk by 9% since 2007 and unemployment among young people (15-24 years old) is 40%
Feb 2014: The 39-year-old leftist former mayor of Firenze/Florence, Matteo Renzi, becomes Italy's youngest-ever prime minister
Sep 2014: Italy enters its third recession in six years, its GDP has contracted by 9% since 2007, and youth unemployment hits a record 44.2%
Dec 2014: Almost 170,000 illegal migrants have arrived in Italy by sea during 2014, about three times the 2013 total
Jan 2015: The unemployment rate hits 13,4%, the highest in 27 years, and among young people it hits 43,9%
Apr 2015: A ship of illegal immigrants capsizes off the coast of Sicily killing at least 700 people, the biggest such disaster of all time
Aug 2016: An earthquake in central Italy kills 278 people
Dec 2016: Eurosceptic populists and nationalist parties win a referendum against a constitutional reform causing prime minister Matteo Renzi to resign, replaced by Paolo Gentiloni
2016: A record number of illegal immigrants enters Italy from North Africa, more than 170,000
Dec 2016: The economist Paolo Gentiloni is appointed prime minister of a center-left government but he won't last two years
Jan 2017: An avalanche on Gran Sasso d'Italia massif destroys a hotel in Rigopiano and kills 29 people
2017: Italy had Europe's third-highest per capita rate of measles after Romania and Greece, and it is the only country in which the number of measles cases is increasing dramatically (5,006 in 2017, from 843 in 2016)
Mar 2018: The euro-skeptic party M5S (Five-star Movement), founded by a comedian, becomes Italy's largest party in parliament, followed by the xenophonic Lega/League
Jun 2018: The parliament elects Giuseppe Conte, who has never held political positions, as prime minister but the most powerful men in the country are his deputies, Matteo Salvini of the Lega/League Party and Luigi DiMaio of the M5S (Five Star Movement)
Aug 2018: A highway bridge collapses in Genova killing 43 people
Mar 2020: Italy is the second most affected country by the Covid-19 epidemic that started in China and the government closes all businesses and cancels all large events telling citizens to stay home
2020: Italy records 285 homicides in one year, one of the lowest in the world
Feb 2021: The economist Mario Draghi is appointed prime minister by a broad coalition of parties to rescue Italy from the economic crisis caused by the covid pandemic but he won't last two years
May 2021: 14 people die when a cable car crashes on the Mottarone mountain near Lake Maggiore
Aug 2021: Sicily records the highest temperature ever in Europe, 48.8 degrees
2021: Italy's GDP grows 6.5% during the second year of the covid pandemic
2021: Russia reports 58,340 cases of AIDS versus 48,000 in the whole of Europe
Jul 2022: 1,200 migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia arrive by boat in 24 hours in Sicilia
Oct 2022: Giorgia Meloni, a former Mussolini admirer leading a right-wing government, becomes Italy's first female prime minister after her party Fratelli d'Italia wins 26% of the vote in elections with a record-low voter turnout of 64%, ahead of the left-wing Democratic Party (19%) and the Five-star Movement (16%)
Dec 2022: Italy's inflation peaks at 8.1%, the highest since 1981
Jan 2023: Italy finally finds and arrests Matteo Messina Denaro, the boss of Sicily's Cosa Nostra, wanted for 30 years
Feb 2023: A boat full of immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, etc capsizes off the coast of Italy, killing more than 100 people on board
Sep 2023: 8,000 migrants arrive on the island of Lampedusa in just three days and 126,000 migrants have arrived in Italy in the first 8 months of the year
Nov 2023: Italy carries out a large anti-mafia trial against the 'Ndrangheta, notably the Mancuso family, with 200 sentenced to 2,200 years of prison for crimes ranging from extortion to drug trafficking, including local officials, businessmen and politicians
Nov 2023: Italy, under pressure from livestock farmers, becomes the first European country to ban lab-grown meat
2023: Italy sets a new tourist record of 68 million
2023: 24.5% of Italians are aged 65 or older
2023: More than 150,000 migrants land in Italy in one year, double the number of the previous year

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